Thursday, January 1, 2009
Have you ever wondered what to do after a Christmas dinner ? This year we made Origami Cranes for the New Year celebrations. Of course some people were better at the folding than others, especially in Japan where they learn paper crafts at an early age, in kindergarten. Surprise, surprise, we had alot of fun doing it.
In Asia, the crane is know as the " bird of happiness" and is often referred to as, thee , 'Honorable Lord Crane"... Myths tell of a legendary warrior who conquered his foes, to heroically, extend the borders of ancient Japan, and upon his death, his soul took the form of a crane and flew away. ( I'd love to illustrate this)
A 12th century legend, tells the story of Yorimoto, who attached labels to the legs of the cranes and requested that the people who captured the birds, record their location, put it on the label and then re-release the birds. This was a very early program, of bird banding.( Amazing isn't it) Infact some of Yorimoto's birds were claimed to have still been alive several centuries after his death.
( Ha Ha)
Yet , another, 12th century, myth retells the tales of Kakamura, a Feudal Lord who celebrated a Buddhist festival . After a successful battle, he freed many cranes, as a thanksgiving gift . Each had a prayer strip on it's leg, to convey a special prayer for those, killed in battle. This appears to be the first recorded association of the crane with celebration of peace and prayer.
Inevitably, the cranes reputation for a long life and prosperity, has became a symbol of good health. Origami cranes have become a popular pastime and a special gift of offering.. So far I've made one hundred small cranes for an origami mobile. I would like to hang it in my new/old Canadian house as a fond remembrance of Japan. It will symbolize the ZaaArt of being Happy and at Peace during 2009.
Posted by Zaa at 2:28 AM